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  • New Posts

      • 1
      Puritans in martial arts
      After spending nearly 10 years in the same Karate system my son and I ventured out to see what else is out there in the MA world. We found a grappling club that loosely trains the 10th planet system. A couple of Eddie Bravo black belts attend from time to time. Then once a week we work with a Krav guy, we like the Krav weapon techniques. Which brings me to my point. The master in our Karate system has written that, should a student study under another master or system they should pretty much be thrown out. Mind you we haven't experienced that yet but we sure don't talk about any of our outside studies. We think mixing martial arts styles makes us better martial artist. Are we actually violating some ancient law of martial arts?
        • 1
        ChuckD I don't think so. I bet the old masters cross trained in their various local martial arts to ensure they were as effective as possible.
      • 1
      Suggestions for improving focus
      Hello. If anyone have any suggestions for beginners how to improve focus during the training please share. For example after practicing for about 5 months I realized that proper stretching is crucial for focused practice.
        • 1
        Andy Hi [243812,Viktor], yes proper warm up and stretching is vital to safe and effective training, the main thing that results in lack of focus for beginners is fatigue/exhaustion as a result of insufficient overall fitness so the best way to focus and progress through training is to get in decent shape. Of course MA training is an excellent way to get in shape anyway so usually this specific problem does tend to cure itself (at least for those who stick with the training and don't drop out because they think it is too difficult), that being said it is never a bad idea for any martial artist at any level to work on fitness and conditioning outside of class time.
      • 3
      "'That's Not Aikido"
      What makes a given technique an "aikido" technique or a "karate" technique? If I use mae geri during aikido randori, am I no longer practicing aikido? Some ardent aikidokas out there believe so. In the 25 years I've studied and practiced aikido, I've heard this phrase time and again and it confuses me. To be clear, aikido has its own philosophy just as any modern budo. But it seems to me that there a lot of budoka who try desperately to preserve the sanctity of their art to such a degree that they refuse to incorporate anything that remotely resembles something outside of their system.
      Aikido's basic philosophy is to "blend" with an attack rather than clash so as to envelope an aggressor's energy, redirect it and control thus neutralizing the attack. This seems to be in direct contrast to the majority of karate styles, for example, whose answer to an attack is to block and counter or strike at the perception of aggression rather than waiting and having to counter. In my opinion, all budo is based in the relatively same esoteric principles of seeking a peaceful resolution to conflict and the techniques of a given system are nothing more than the mechanics of that philosophy. Furthermore, I firmly believe that incorporating tools from other systems not only enhances my ability to defend myself but gives me a deeper meaning and perspective into the art that I teach and practice.
      As an example, all of my aikibudo students learn basic kicks and punches from Shotokan and Matsubashi Karate Kempo, the two systems of karate I've studied and practiced. The principles of grounding needed to properly execute seiken are the same as the those used in basic bokken work or in any entering technique, e.g. irimi nage. And let's face it, some times a kick to the groin or knee makes a lot more sense than trying to blend. If I use empi to strike a man's face in close-quarters because it's the fastest way to end a conflict, does that make it any less of an aikido technique? I don't believe so. It's the philosophy of the art and the opportunity to practice mental and physical discipline that continues to interest me. The "how" I practice that discipline will always be subordinate to "why."

      Dave Magliano
      Jissenkan Aikibudo
        • 1
        Al W Morihei Uechiba created Aikido to bring people together. So why can't the same be said for styles.

        We know that styles have to adapt to the world as it evolves, why can't Aikido use Karate techniques? And vice-versa.
        • 1
        Andy [244169,Dave Magliano], excellent post and I totally agree from a self defence perspective, I can also see though where the traditionalists are coming from in relation to preserving the purity of a specific style or system, most Japanese styles are very strict and formal (with little room for deviation in the dojo), however that shouldn't mean that we disregard other techniques in our personal practice outside of a strict dojo environment.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki So are the Aikido "traditionalists" saying that if you kick them during open sparring that you are cheating or just that you are deviating from Aikido? How do they expect Aikido to help them in the real world if they do not practice against the unexpected kicks & strikes that they might see from a non-Aikido opponent?

        Glad to see that you are incorporating kicks & punches into your curriculum.

        Will
      • 4 more comments
      • 1
      How would you improve BOB (the Body Opponent Bag)?
      If you were a mad scientist, how would you improve BOB (the Body Opponent Bag)? Lets assume that you can not turn BOB into a moving sparring robot. However, what would you do to this stationary training tool in order to make it better?

      If you do not know BOB, here it is - http://amzn.to/2qtWkro

      BOB is used as a punching & kicking dummy at many martial arts schools.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki I was hoping for ideas like adding padded legs to BOB (in order to practice low kicks), rock-em sock-em like arms so you need to avoid a BOB punch, etc. :)
        • 2
        Andy [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki], I would add taps that dispense beer, sake and vodka and also add an intergrated grill/oven so that BOB could be used to cook bacon, steaks, Chicken or other such healthy snacks (after all kicking the crap out of BOB is hungry and thirsty work), I would also add a digital sound system and a fire extinguisher (just in case you forget the bacon and accidentally set BOB on fire). :)
        • 1
        Mike Maybe an insult or threat feature, Bob wolfing a bunch of smack.
        Or, reaction feature, "Ouch" , "I was just kidding", "Is that all you got"...
      • 13 more comments
      • 2
      Samurai Delicatessen
      Since it is Friday, I thought that I would post a fun martial arts video to get you ready for the long weekend. This Vimeo video looks at an old SNL skit where John Belushi plays a Samurai doing everyday jobs. Enjoy!

      For other Belushi Samurai skits, you should visit this NBC page - https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/cast/john-belushi-14976/character/samurai-futaba-72746

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Andy [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] Lol! First time I have seen this, unfortunately the link to the rest of the Samurai sketches doesn't work here in the U.K. :(
        I'll track them down somehow though! :)


    Visit the New Posts section for all of the recent posts.

    Top Rated Posts

      • 9
      What questions to ask before joining a martial arts school?
      It is very important that beginners ask many questions before joining any martial arts schools. This will help them to avoid financial headaches, inappropriate styles, training problems, McDojos, 25 year old Grand Masters, etc.

      What key questions would you suggest that new students ask?

      For example, I would suggest that students ask if the school has a low priced trial period in order to get acquainted with the school, system, instructors & students (before signing any longer-term contracts). Then ask if there is any required contracts (i.e. annual contract, month-to-month contract, etc.) and then ask what are the extra costs (i.e. additional testing fees). Students need to determine the real cost of training and the length of this financial commitment.

      Please help beginners by listing some essential questions that should be asked before joining any martial arts school.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 4
        Al W Questions I would personally ask the instructor of the class
        1: How long have you been training?
        2: How long have you been teaching?
        3: How often should I train?
        4: How much do lessons cost?
        5: How do I pay for lessons?
        6: How much does membership cost?
        7: How often do you grade students?
        8: Is there any extra cost for gradings?
        9: Do I need to purchase a uniform?

        But most of all ask yourself "Is this the Martial Art for me?"
        • 3
        ChuckD The thing I like about the school I'm at is people can try a few classes for free. Also there is no contract. The instructor literally said if he is not teaching well enough to keep people there with out a contract then something needs to change. There is a small belt test fee of 20 dollars up to like 30 or 40 for higher ranks but that is only like 1-2 times per year and maybe 3 times a year for an adult.

        I think the best thing is to take a few classes and what how the instructor behaves and how the senior students behave. Are they helpful to new students? Respectful etc...
        • 2
        Beth Loomer Can I watch a few classes?
        Can I talk to some of the students?

        Then if you can do so. If you they would rather you not then I would run, You can tell a lot about a school by the way the instructor/instructors interact with the students or parents.

        Find out about how often a school does tournaments and if they are required in any way.

        How long does it take to promote and what is required of students at promotion?
        Who does the grading at promotions?

        Asking about price, uniforms, gear, when classes are seem a given.
      • 39 more comments
      • 8
      New Wiki Members - Please Say Hello
      New Wiki Members - Please use this section to say hello to the community.

      We know that some new members can be a little intimidated if they have to start right off the bat by adding anything to an existing martial arts topic. Therefore, this section was designed to break the ice by allowing new members to leave a quick and/or short "hello" message. It was also meant as a way to help new members to become comfortable with the community's posting & commenting system before they attempt to add anything to the other topics.

      We have turned this post into a permanent section on the top tool bar of the wiki community. Hopefully, it will be a place where new members can feel comfortable introducing themselves to the community (versus having to jump straight into a martial arts discussion or posting a hello randomly on a non-related martial arts topic).

      Quick Tips - You can reply to this message by typing in the comment box below, you can follow all of the recent replies/comments made on this site by using the "Comments" section on the top tool bar and you can use the "Post Something" button (found on the top right of the main sections) to post a new main topic (i.e. question or video).

      Saying hello also saves you from becoming a hidden "lurker" who does not take full advantage of this friendly martial arts community. Everyone here wants to help you improve or to learn from your experience. FYI - Most if not all of the top-rated posts are still open for comments & replies.

      If you are too shy to post, you can also vote a topic/comment up or down. Members enjoy it when their commentary is received well and they receive positive feedback (either in words or up votes).

      **FYI** - Please be aware that if you do not post at least once in the first month or two after you join, your account may be potentially deleted for inactivity. This is to prevent spam and maintain the quality of this forum.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      http://www.blackbeltwiki.com
        • 3
        Maryse Duchaussoy Hello everyone, I newly started kyokushin and needed some writing info that your site so kindly provide. I doubt I will be posting a lot as I am a novice on the topic, but I am looking forward to reading what you all have to say.
        • 2
        MSGDOC Greetings....I am on active duty with the Army. Been in for 28 years as a Medic. I have trained in traditional Karate, Kenpo and Tae Kwon Do for the past 40 years. For the last 2 years, my interest is training with a cane. I look forward to reading your posts, advice and tips. "Networking" with people sharing your values, interests and passion is an invaluable tool.
        • 2
        Paul Hankle Hello, I have been studying Chito Ryu Karate-do for nearly 5 years, recently attaining Ni Kyu rank. I will be 50 this year, and I find that karate has improved my flexibility, decreased my pain following back surgery, and is a great stress relief. This is in addition to all of the traditional benefits associated with the martial arts. Cheers!
      • 370 more comments
      • 8
      What movie inspired you to start your martial arts training?
      I was inspired by many movies (i.e. Bruce Lee, etc.). However, the ones that really stick in my mind are the Seven Samurai and some of the old dubbed Kung Fu movies (esp. the movies with Gordon Liu).

      As a kid, I always loved martial arts movies where it was good fighting evil and where hardwork & dedication overcame training difficulties.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      http://www.blackbeltwiki.com
        • 3
        Lil Sarnt It wasn't a movie that inspired me initially. My first inspiration was the old TV show "Kung Fu." I used to watch this as a child and then go outside and reenact the episodes. I was a strange little kid.
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Karate cowboy? Far off. Billy Jack was a Hapkido expert and of Navaho indian background! :)

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Barry Whisnant Billy Jack had to be my favorite and my first inspiration. I'm of Indian descent and btw, I have the box set.
      • 159 more comments
      • 7
      Should martial arts instructors know CPR & first aid?
      When you combine out-of-shape middle aged adults and vigorous martial arts training, you have the potential for medical emergencies.

      Do your instructors know CPR & first aid? Or should they only know how to call 911? Does your school train for medical emergencies (i.e. heart attack, broken bones, serious bleeding, etc.)?

      Related question - How has your school dealt with medical emergencies in the past?

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      http://www.blackbeltwiki.com
        • 2
        Trent Zelazny Taking a CPR class next week, actually. Everyone should probably know, in life in general, but especially when it involves anything physically active. I wish I had done it ages ago. Better late than never, I guess.
        • 2
        Tirang R. Neyestani Hi there,
        I'm a clinician and my specialty is clinical nutrition. Knowing CPR and first aids could work for every body, let alone a martial artist. I have seen some cases of nasal fracture which were handled quite unnecessarily painfully by a karate instructor who knew nothing about the bones and fractures!
        • 2
        Joe Bramblett Really, everybody should know basic first aid by the time they're out of high school. At least enough to know not to move the patient unnecessarily, basics of how to minimize risk if they must be moved, controlling severe bleeding, etc. (Theoretically, splinting and such would be good to learn, but for the most part, if you've got to move the patient, it's because there's an immediate deadly hazard and you don't have time for much prep. That would be more for backcountry activities where the patient is going to be assisted or carried some distance anyway. In the dojo, we can work around them until the cleanup crew shows up.)
        I'll appreciate you calling 911 and praying until the ambulance shows up, but I'd really feel better in a world where 80-90% of the people knew how to do the above too.
      • 77 more comments
      • 7
      Martial Arts Humor & Jokes
      Thought it would be really great to get some martial arts jokes to tell in class to break the ice with my young and new students in autumn, if you know of any jokes or humourous anecdotes that can appeal in a class, but still not let it descend into anarchy, I'd love to hear them.
      Let my kick off:
      "How many karate instructors does it take to change a lightbulb?"

      "100! One to change the bulb and 99 to say it would not work on the street!"
        • 5
        Andy So this guy walks into a bar.... Ok you can let him go now
        [176815,Alex] :)
        • 4
        Al W A Texas cowboy walks into a dojo thinking it’s a bar. Upon entering he says, “Well hell I thought this was a bar not a dance class.” This upsets the Sensei who approaches the cowboy and replies, “This is no dance class, this is martial arts dojo!” Then he politely bows to the cowboy. He then takes a stance and throws a sidekick, stopping 2” from the cowboy’s nose and says, “That was side kick from Tae Kwon Do. Then politely bows again. He then throws a lighting fast palm heal strike, again stopping 2” from the cowboy’s nose and says, “That was Tiger Palm from Chinese Boxing, “ and again politely bows. After which there is a loud “PRRINGGG!” The students stare in awe as their Sensei is out cold on the floor. Then the Texas cowboy says, Tell that guy when he wakes up… that was a crow bar from Home Depot.
        • 4
        Al W My cousin was an incredibly tough man. He was a karate black belt who eventually joined the army. Sadly the first time he saluted he killed himself.
      • 83 more comments
      • 6
      Tiger Balm & Andy
      In honor of Andy, I have just now added Tiger Balm to the community store :) - http://community.blackbeltwiki.com/store

      Of course, we are still waiting for Tiger Balm to make [171807,Andy] an official spokesperson!

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Andy [171668,Black Belt Wiki], just had a look at the Chuck 'facts' :),did you know that when Chuck Norris was born he slapped the midwife and made HER cry? :)
        • 2
        Rachel DS [171807,Andy] tiger balm fixed my sore arm....that was good.....commend from kids' vacation care teacher when I dropped them off (freshly balmed for the day) - "you smell really good"......priceless.....So not only is it good for healing all ills it is apparently a good substitute for body spray / aftershave / perfume (insert name of favourite smelly product).....lol
        • 2
        Rachel DS I think the first time I came across TB was in thailand. They put it on everything.....I am allergic to bee stings (ie difficulty breathing and lots of swelling etc) and we were on tour when a bee flew into our song tau and stung me on the arm - the tour leader put some on the sting and I got an icepack at the next town but we were miles from doctors / hospitals....between the tiger balm, a compression sock and some ventolin and antihistamines I managed to stay out of hospital!

        Incidentally [171807,Andy] the placebo effect is bone fide. I will have to find the study I just read on it. (This was applicable to reiki etc I think as opposed to TB but it would flow on to anything).

        I am going to put some TB on my arm in a tic (currently on ice) - practising bunkai with a partner tonight who got a little over zealous when I told him to do it harder......hopefully better by Sunday as that is the tourney.....:S I have 2 more training sessions and some work with my real bunkai partner to go before then too.
      • 19 more comments
      • 6
      A Karate Guy Never Gives Up
      An off shoot of Any inquiring about dropping out and having the natural spirit for martial arts. My nephew recently started taking classes (he is 4 years old) i was play sparing with him after class and gave up to fighting him and he told me "A karate guy never gives up" , it was adorable.

      Its all about spirit, he will most likely make this an important part of his life, im eager to see him grow in it.
        • 3
        Andy Here's another story about not giving up, 16 years ago i got my lower right leg crushed between 2 forklift trucks in an accident at work. The doctors said I would be lucky to walk properly again and to forget martial arts. I ended up with titanium screws in both sides of my ankle and a titanium plate grafted to the lower part of my right fibula, I was on crutches for the best part of a year. I still carried on practicing as well as I could and when I was undergoing physio therapy during my recovery the physio therapist informed me that I still had a better degree of pantoflection (whatever that means lol) than most other people and asked me if I practiced Ballet!!!! Look at my profile pic can you picture me in a tutu (don't answer that lol). Anyway I made a full recovery, have full mobility and can still perform full force kicks with my right leg (even though the doctors have advised me not to lol).
        • 2
        Andy Thanks for that Rachel that explains why I haven't been able to find any reference to what my physio therapist was talking about lol, oh and I think I'll stick to cross training as opposed to cross dressing. :)
        • 2
        Andy Chris that is great! :)
      • 11 more comments
      • 5
      Reasons Why People Leave Our Dojo
      Anyone who teaches martial arts has to contend with the "revolving door syndrome." People come and people go. They might stay for a week, a month, maybe even a year and then they just stop training. The funny thing is, people often quit shortly after they finally decide to purchase a uniform and equipment. Some times I get a warning, other times people simply disappear. Of course, I will follow up with those folks to make sure they are ok and I typically get any number of excuses as to why they stopped training. Here are a few in no particular order with my response.

      "I don't have time to train." What things in life do you have time for? Just be honest and tell me it's not a priority for you. I can understand and accept that.

      "Aikido is too difficult; I just don't get it." Do you always avoid difficult things in life? There is no success without failure. Repeated failure is how you learn self control and discipline. Worthy pursuits are never easy.

      "I want to train, but life keeps getting in the way." What does that mean? If this is something that's really important to you, you will find a way. But don't blame life...that's on you.

      "You are too militant for me." You do understand that "martial" means military, right? I may have high expectations, but that's only because I've done this a long time and I know what it takes for you to learn it and be able to use it. If you want want to be taught by someone who will constantly stoke your ego, there are a lot of other folks out there who will gladly take your money.

      "I can't afford the lessons." When have I ever said you can't train if you can't pay? We can work something out.

      "Aikido doesn't work. It's not practical for the street." Your aikido doesn't work because you don't train often enough and when you do train, you don't commit yourself. If you want quick and easy, buy a gun.

      "I keep getting hurt." That's because you don't train or do anything physical outside of the dojo, or you still smoke or drink too much or have a poor diet. Learning a real martial art takes tremendous commitment that includes getting into and staying in good physical condition. You get hurt because you have not physically and mentally committed yourself to training.

      "I don't agree with wearing 16th Century uniforms. Nobody wears a gi in the street." The concept of the martial arts uniform (keikogi) has only been around for about 100 years. Uniforms soak up sweat and blood and help keep the training environment clean while protecting your skin from cuts and abrasions, allowing you to train for real confrontations.

      "I can only come once a week." I'm only asking for two nights out of seven. If your schedule is really hectic, then I will help you find a way. If that means training with you on a different day for a while I will do my best to accommodate you...but you have to meet me half way.

      "I found another art I'd like to try." Great! Keep training and drop me a line once in a while. The door is always open if you decide to come back.

      Some of this probably sounds a little harsh but I'm willing to bet there are a few teachers out there who have heard these excuses. It doesn't bother me if you decide to stop training or go somewhere else. I just want you to be honest with me...and yourself.

      Dave Magliano
      Jissenkan Aikido
      ​www.jissenkan.com
        • 2
        Leon Reeder I think when people come to train in Tae Kwon Do they see all the neat things a train Martial Arts can do in the movies. They walk in expecting to do all these things in a short time. After a little bite of time reality sets in and then they realize this will take a long time and effort. I believe what my Korean master said is most American are somewhat lazy and expect things to be quick and easy. When it gets tough they simple quit. All the time I see people who come to class and they can not do the techniques or patterns because they simply do not practice. A lot of them will set on their butt and play video games and not practice. My Korean master has a description of a lot of Americans, they will go to the apple tree lay on their back, open their mouth and say apple drop right here. He said you have to get up and go get the apple. As an instructor I don't worry about those who leaves, I focus on those who stay.
        • 2
        Beth Loomer Even not being the main instructor I hear these excuses. Time and life are the two most common excuses I hear. I dont know why people cant just say, "I dont want to do this anymore." Why is that difficult? It would be more accurate most of the time. Although I do know a few people who really do want to be in there but just cant with their job schedules and that is the most frustrating. We even made a middle of the day class for those people and a few of them take advantage.
        • 1
        Micheline Gravel Hi Dave, as the administrator for our non-profit dojo, I handle all sign-ups and quitters. We mostly have kids doing judo, some karate and others aikido. I can pretty much tell from the beginning which kids will quit within their first trimester. Sadly, many of our members are dependent on their (often divorced) parents' schedules. When they get promoted to the next level, they have to change days and Sensei. Many parents lie to us because they can't figure out how to accommodate the new training time. I've heard all of yours and then some. Our town is really small so the truth comes out faster than people hope. It gets pretty awkward; especially when they change dojo and we find out.0
        In karate, we decided to let newbies try the sport at least 4 times to get a better idea of the training pace. After that, our Sensei has a long talk with them (and parents, if it's a child) about mutual expectations. Most kids either stop after the 4th free lesson or stay for at least a year. Judo is different. They only let kids participate 2x before they have to sign up. The quitting rate is much more erratic there.
        I understand the irritation of not being told the truth, especially because we're talking about budo, but not everybody gets it. Many treat martial arts like they have a stunt double waiting in the wings but we do it -teach- for the ones that really want to learn. Patience and good luck!
      • 21 more comments
      • 5
      Blackbelt Wiki Community 2nd Anniversary
      Last year we had our 1'st 'Birthday' as an online MA community so I thought this year we should change it up a bit and have an 'anniversary' instead :)
      Either way we are now officially 2 years old and going strong. Once again I would like to thank all of our active members for making this an excellent place to discuss, question, debate (occasionally make fun of) and otherwise just generally help and advise each other on the various aspects of our respective martial arts practice! I would also like to again encourage our non active (or new) members to get involved and start posting! Special thanks to @Christopher Adamchek and @Superamazingbadgerman for being (and remaining) active members since day one. Also a special thanks to all of our other regular active members (you know who you are, as do I but I can't be bothered to name you all and I don't want to risk offending anyone by forgetting to include them lol)! And last but not least, again and as always special thanks to @Will - Black Belt Wiki for creating both the wiki and this community in the first place. Ok that's this years speech over with 😂now for a big round of online internet emoji based applause! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
      PS as a special anniversary treat I have arranged a free bottle of sake for every member! To collect your free sake, simply go to your nearest store that sells the stuff, collect your 'free' bottle, tell them to put it on @Al W's account and run like hell! :)
        • 2
        Hermit Yep, a big thanks is needed for [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] from all of us, like a MA club, often the headaches from running things are more stress than someone needs, but we are thankful for a place to come and meet other crazies.... I mean martial arts lovers like us!!
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki I also want to thank all of our ACTIVE members over the past 2 years such as [171786,Christopher Adamchek] , [172230,Superamazingbadgerman] , [172080,Rachel DS] , [212430,James] , [212770,Al W] , [220601,Richie] , [218075,Michael] , [176815,Alex] , [217441,Ray] , [183970,David Ianetta] , [213500,Goldin Christie] , [172304,Llewena Carrero] , [172965,Philip Marc] , [199593,timothy] , [220307,Beth Loomer] , [227432,Nico] , [200995,Hermit] , [239084,Natasha] , [182588,ChuckD] , [217372,KSP08] , [235717,Logen Lanka] , [180146,Chris Ashcraft] , [231905,Rom Hamilton] , [175989,Karin Fourie] , [244169,Dave Magliano] , [181819,Ben] , [181024,Ceri Cat] , [177175,Antony] , [213158,Martin Alcala] , [172087,Ray McLean] , [172965,Philip Marc] , [189786,Kathryn Carson] , [181251,Hanmudo Hwarang] , [209759,Mary Cayte Reiland] , [235694,Joe Bramblett] , [200293,Sensei-Chap1] , [187953,Brandon] , [179113,Ralph] , [176848,Mark Winter] and everyone else who takes time out to contribute ideas and comments to this community. Your active participation helps to make this community fun and useful!!!

        For our non-active members, we hope you post occasionally because this will help to make the community even better (as it will add your experiences, knowledge, humor, insights, etc.).

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki I also want to thank [171807,Andy] for all of his community moderating skills, humor, common sense (except when 2 liters of vodka are involved :) and most importantly his friendship.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 19 more comments
      • 5
      Positives AND negatives for new martial arts students over 60?
      Since we have a good number of "mature" :) martial arts students & instructors on this site, I thought you might like to share some of your knowledge & give some advice. What would you tell to a person who was over 60 and thinking about joining a martial arts school? What positives & negatives would you discuss? What have you discovered being a 60+ year old martial artist? What advice would you give so they could get the most out of the training and avoid common training pitfalls for older students?

      What are your thoughts on injuries? Flexibility requirements? Balance? Keeping up with younger members? Strength improvements? Mental benefits? Other issues specific to older martial arts students?

      In addition, based on your experience, how does a new 60+ year old martial arts student differ from a new middle aged 40+ year old student? Would you give vastly different advice to these two student groups?

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 4
        Graeme Reay I've just done my returned to kyokushin karate as an almost 60 year old (March) returning after a gap of 8 years. I had reached 1st Dan when I stopped, due to a non-karate related serious back injury and a job change that meant I was then commuting 4 hours a day making it almost impossible to get to training sessions. I have a few initial observations to perhaps complement whats been said already:

        - Muscle memory stay with you for a lot longer than you might expect. Though I absolutely murdered the katas we ran through this week they are defintiely still inside me somewhere! A bit of solid application and practice will help to get them out

        - There is no substitute for good old solid repetition (see above) to help build technique but being that bit older maybe helps you use your brian more efficiently to break things down and get them right. Unlike some of the younger karateka who rush offf all flailing armsd and legs, impressing themselves with their own flexibility and speed but never quite nailing things properly. In a kata an averagely executed bloick, kick or punch is still average, no matter how fast you can do it. And accuracy and power can often trump speed

        - Like being a total beginner again, the hardest step is the one that takes you into the dojo, either for the first time or as a returner. Once you have made ithat step, things will get easier

        - While away from karate, not only did I lose physical strength, power and flexibility I lost mental strength and robustness too. It took me years to realise this. Already I can feel mental strength returning and this will help me greatly in my work and personal life. I value this as much or even more than the (slow) inprovements I am seeing in my physical capabilities

        - Have realistic expectations and set yourself small, incremental short-term goals. Acheiving them spurs you on. Failing to hit a major less realsistic goal might demoralsie you so much you give up

        - Work with what you have got and adapt. At 17 stone (240lbs 109kg) I am 2 stones heavier than I was whem I reached 1st Dan and it isnt going to disappear any time soon. Ok, I'm not as flexible as I was and sparring with lithe young kickers is a challenge but getting up closer to stop them dictating things and let me use MY approach, weight and techniques gives them something to think about

        - The 3 day rule still seems to apply. Train on Wednesday, ache on Thursday, hurt on Friday, raring to go again on Saturday!!

        To anyone of a similar age who is thinking of starting karate or returning after a long lay off all I can really say is, please give it a try. Don't let a number on a page be a barrier. Of course be sensible and careful, and get checked out medically beforehand if you have any concerns. The rewards will be fantastic and you will also meet some great people. The bonds you build can last for life
        • 3
        Graeme Reay Kyokushin dojo sparring this week. Now I can't tell whether my thighs are hurting because of trying to bunny hop up the dojo or from kicks during sparring. Both is suspect! But do you know what? I feel great. Alive! Only been a few weeks since I can back to training after a 7 year break but can already see and feel the difference it had made to both my fitness and confidence
        • 2
        Mike 57 years old here.
        Even when your brain thinks 25, remember you're 60
        Don't try to out muscle the 18 year olds
        Teen aged girls can and will kick you in the head
        Aches and pains don't go away in 3 days anymore
        2 minutes on the bag really is a long time
        The young women & men really do look up to you
        You inspire the parents in the audience
        "Old man strength" is a real thing
      • 40 more comments
      • 5
      Online instruction... where do we draw the line?
      With a few of the posts recently, I have been thinking what impact/role should the internet have in the expansion of martial arts.

      The way I see it, YouTube instructors aren't much different than the VCR sense's of the 80's. They demonstrate the movements, teach the terminology, and can reach far more people than at a physical location. The obvious limitations of VCR instruction is that although we can pause and rewind the tape, we can never get any more than what was recorded. We will never get feedback on how we are performing the techniques, we will never be able to ask questions or get further clarification. None of the concepts will ever be expanded upon (unless a new volume is released).

      YouTube has the benefit of being a living medium where comments can be made, questions added, and new content provided. However, the creators of videos in the 80's were highly reputable masters of their own style whereas literally anyone can be on YouTube. I have seen plenty of videos of alleged "masters" who were obvious frauds and people who claimed they can do "no touch knockouts". On the other hand, there are plenty of legitimate videos out there, like Sensei Ando and Karate Culture.

      So, my question for you is what is Ok to teach via YouTube, what kind of things should only be taught one-on-one and what is toeing the line? Should there be expectation for instructors to show their credentials in their videos or on their site? How should the Internet (YouTube and social media) be leveraged to promote a dojo?
        • 4
        Andy Completely agree with all posts on this thread! I would also add that without other trained personnel to spar against and learn with (and from) then you have absolutely no idea as to whether what you have learned via video is effective or not (and a genuine situation is certainly not the place to suddenly realise that your 'become a 12th dan Ninja in 6 months video' was complete horsecrap!
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Personally, I think that online videos should only be used to reinforce what you have already learned (i.e. remind you of the steps in a particular kata) or to show to new techniques that you might want to practice with a trained martial arts instructor (as you need a live partner to learn how to apply a technique, a trained instructor to avoid injuries, a trained instructor to correct any mistakes, etc.).

        You see lots of schools starting to put out videos because they think the videos will help them to attract new students and will help to boost the credentials of the school & instructors.

        Will
        • 2
        Al W I use the interwebs to look at Kata, I learn it and then ask my instructor to help me iron out the kinks
      • 14 more comments
      • 5
      Are martial arts movies good or bad for martial arts?
      Did you get sucked into martial arts after you had seen Bruce Lee fight his way upstairs the pagoda in “Game of Death”? Good, and you are certainly not the only one! But are martial arts movies actually good or bad for martial arts? Martial arts movies have undoubtedly been pivotal in popularizing once obscure, only regionally known self-defense systems. However, what is shown of these arts on the screen are (for the most part) flashy, heavily choreographed fighting scenes that bear little resemblance to the kind of real life combat that these systems were originally developed for (Bruce Lee himself once mentioned that that for his movies he preferred flashier over less flashy but more effective techniques). So, have martial arts movies shaped the way martial arts are perceived and through this corrupted them?
        • 3
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS GOOD for martial arts!, I believe karate movies plays as a good marketing tool for interest and recruitment for those who have the desire to join a real karate class. Movies do motivate and create excitement, as most people realize that karate moves are rehearsed and is part of the fantasy world. Moreover, the moves had to be practiced by real karate individualists to make it into entertainment, so quality karate movements are recognized by those individualists. Even as a student of the arts; old karate movies provide a theme for entertainment and even a cultural lesson from the ancient times, and to some other karate-ka, it provides the technical expertise and meaning of techniques, that educates the practioner and practicing karate judges in identifying point contacts in there fight scenes. I do agree on the other hand, that karate movies can be sinuous, and they do shape the martial arts to a false-hood in real life. Today, the opinions of Internet karate junkies have no basis of professional karate degrees and experiences, that only confuse the young practicing karate-ka as they strive towards their karate journey. The only good measurement of this practice comes from the real experienced karate-ka to realize that, comparison of karate styles is controversal and has no relevance to one's karate development. In that, real life karate is a serious dedicated development, while movies are what they are, just movies for entertainment which causes karate enthusiasm!
        • 0 3 votes
        • Reply
        • 2
        Ray I am still asked when the spinning back jump flip kick with ninja stars and smoke will be taught.

        The other day I was closing down the gym when I was seriously asked. " how long till I can be like the guy from enter the badlands?" This was asked by an adult.

        I was once asked if I could get the instructor to skip all the "fluff training" and move on to the real ninja stuff.

        Calling the movies the gate way drug is puting it mildly
        • 0 2 votes
        • Reply
        • 2
        Al W Martial Arts in movies and tv shows could be considered the "Gateway Drug" for kids. They see famous MA practitioners perform flash moves and think "Wow I want to do that".

        As [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] said, without movies the MA community would be very small.
        On the plus side there would be less McDojos
      • 17 more comments
      • 5
      How to be better fighter than a UFC or MMA fighter?
      Was training in a park recently with more experienced friend

      A passerby walked up and said that we looked good but asked if it could beat an MMA fighter. Before i could say anything my friend spoke up.

      "Absolutely....UFC has 31 rules - i have none. I would break every rule there is and probably a few they didnt even think to make."

      It was a great response!
        • 3
        Bobby McFarlane HAHA. As the "arrogant" guy who is being quoted in the original post (thanks for the undo praise Chris) I feel I should throw in my two cents. Because it is easy and even understandable to make assumptions about me and my philosophy when everyone fills in the blanks around one phrase I spoke. Everyone here is making good points. The question asked was in the context of, is it possible for you, a more traditional martial artist, to beat a professional. This is usually and in this case asked in a out of the ring self defense context. Not "can you personally beat any given MMA fighter I put in front of you right now?" And not "Will you beat an MMA fighter?" It would be bold to assume I could beat any given person without some information on the scenario. and even then "shit happens" is a real possibility... I could lose to a ten year old girl with a well placed even accidental strike. Likely? no. But possible. ... Let me deconstruct the biggest points here to explain my answer a bit more.

        "There is no saying an MMA fighter wont fight dirty."
        Totally true but not substantial. I train in a traditional combative art that looks for dirty fighting and aims to defend dirty fighting as well as use it. Fool proof? No... but the reason I say I will break their rules first, is because they usually don't train to defend those things because it would be a waste of training time for them. If you end up in a fight with a Pro boxer I would expect you would not go toe to toe with boxing techniques... kick him in the shin, the groin, wrap him up and grapple with him and he is going to have a lot more trouble with you. Many MMA techniques are built to be somewhat air tight... IF certain rules protect them. This is not exclusive to MMA its true in every martial art mine included. Techniques outside our wheelhouse are dangerous. An MMA rear naked choke is devastating and I challenge you to tell me how you would get out of it in the ring. Put an MMA fighter in a rear naked, cinch it in nice and tight and correctly and ask him to get out for the sake of his life before he passes out... and watch him struggle to get his chin down push your arm up wiggle etc... it wont work. Drive a thumb deep through his eye ball (yes this takes practice but yes I have practice), he will go. Sand in the eyes, clawing, kicking while they are down, weapons... Pro fighters don't usually train these things. Does that make me a better fighter? Heck No. MMA fighters are amazing fighters and athletes. Is it POSSIBLE to beat them in a fight? yep, start by breaking their rules and being a trained fighter yourself. True of any martial art or sport art.

        Comparing Martial arts as better or worse is foolish in most cases. You can train MMA 6 days a week and never fully pressure test your skills and end up a less effective fighter. You can ALSO train at a McDojo two nights a week and go home and work your butt off to understand the art, pressure test your skills in a safe environment, study the details, work through drills and become an excellent fighter out of a McDojo. VERY few fights ever really come down to my art is better than yours, that's the stuff of movies and video games. A real fight is too complex to fully calculate... it is one person vs another in one situation vs another with whatever level of awareness and readiness they have going for them THAT DAY. We train with the goal of our worst day being better than our opponents best day but that is not always the cards we are dealt. In any fight you should avoid the fight first because you likely have NO IDEA how it will go... if you end up in a fight you do your best with what you have but you better believe the more good training you have, the more likely it will be POSSIBLE to overcome your opponent whether they are an MMA fighter or an untrained child. Never underestimate your opponent...

        Side note... Yeah I know its the internet but don't ASSUME that everyone who says anything that you disagree with out of context is untrained, inexperienced, arrogant, or even being fully understood. They probably aren't... but maybe they are :P
        • 2
        Al W UFC/MMA shouldn't be the standard to which all MA are judged against.
        • 2
        James I agree broadly with both. One of the problems is that many of the techniques that are outide the rulebook either are very very difficult to land on a trained fighter or simply arent as effective as we'd like to believe.for example trying to get s thumb in the eye of a trained fighter is easier said than done and even if you get there as unpleasant as it may be its not a fight ender on its own. Strikes to the groin can take several seconds for the pain to register and can be fought through. The reality is that most of the fight ending knock out stuff is trained in by UFC guys every day and as [171807,Andy] says the key is to be as strong, fast and conditioned as they are as well as having a variety of interesting techniques to give you an exrra advantage.
      • 34 more comments
      • 5
      Is boxing a martial art?
      Is boxing considered to be a martial art by traditional martial artists?
        • 1
        Rob Wallace The sweet science, I would say definitely yes.....perhaps not in the traditional sense... but I would say fits all the markers of a martial art.
        • 1
        Luke I would say yes and no. It is one in its own right, but it mainly has a sport focus. Doesn't mean you cant beat the crap out of someone or that it doesn't install disipline, respect or fitness. Its kind of good for aggression building actually and the tangent is stopping.
        • 1
        Rhett Keiser Boxing is the U.S. version of martial arts.
      • 32 more comments
      • 5
      Happy Birthday Blackbelt Wiki Community!
      Yes we are now officially 1 year old! First of all a big thank you to @Will - Black
      Belt Wiki for creating this community out of the ashes of the old black belt wiki message boards! I personally believe that this community is the best place currently available on the Internet for fellow martial artists to meet, discuss MA topics and interact in a safe and no
      BS environment. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate ALL fellow members for their contributions and for making my job as a community moderator so easy! Looking back over the past year it is perhaps ironic that I (as a moderator) have probably been the worst behaved on here (except for
      [172080,Rachel DS] who should be ashamed of herself for being such a bad influence and leading me astray on so many occasions)! :)
      My only wish is that more of our 300+ members would get involved and post something (anything!!! Lol). May our community continue to go from strength to strength (quick pass the barf bag!) and continue for many more years to come!
      I would also like to say a big 'screw you!' to all of the spam merchants that either I (but much more so Will) have had to delete and ban over this last year! Osu :)
        • 2
        Keston Destiny I want to thank Black Belt Wiki for allowing someone like me with no knowledge of karate into your lives. My daughters have been so prosperous on their journey through karate and it's been an enjoyment to be alongside them. I'm proud to say that after 14 trophies, 5 medals, and 5 tournaments my girls will be advancing to yellow belt on June 9th. So I'm very happy for this community and pardon my lack of activity, I do care.
        • 2
        Christopher Adamchek Wow, one year already
        • 1
        Rachel DS It has been a pleasure leading you astray [171807,Andy] and I mean that in the most innocent way possible. It is important to have a sense of humour at least proportional to one's sense of passion. I have certainly got a lot out of being involved in this online community and hope it kicks on despite the occasional knock out joke from any of us. 😂 O tonjobi emedeto gosaimashita and domo arigato gosaimashita to [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] for creating the community!
      • 13 more comments
      • 5
      Member's Showcase
      I see videos on here of people at competitions, and various other forms of media. Wouldn't it be nice if we could see each other perform our respective styles/arts? So I'm creating this post just for that, no videos of Chuck Norris roundhousing squirrels or any other videos of non -members.

      Criticism is always welcome but keep it clean and no bullying. Remember we're all different with different levels of skills and athletic ability
        • 2
        Al W Me performing Heian Nidan at the 2016 AMA Southern Open in Maidstone Kent


        https://youtube.com/watch?v=HXJff2lIX8o

        This was my first competition and I was nervous as hell
        • 1
        J&J My 8 year old son poomse blue belt.
        https://youtu.be/1oSQCH4-vr0
        • 1
        J&J My son winning his second Grand Championship for weapons at 8 years old. Testing for his brown belt in Taekwondo next week. https://youtu.be/fJxoSS4FCZs
        • 0 1 vote
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      • 75 more comments
      • 5
      Luca Valdesi - Unsu kata
      Demonstration of Unsu Kata
        • 1
        John Luttrell As part of our club's 15th anniversary we had a course on Unsu with Sensei Hazard and Sensei Trimbel it was excellent and we all learned a great deal. If you get a chance to train with either of these gentlemen you will learn a lot.
        • 1
        Al W Can anyone help me develop the jump in this kata? I need to learn to perform the Sempu Tobi Geri on both legs for reasons that will remain classified at present
        • 1
        Al W If I could be half as good as him then I would count myself lucky
      • 4 more comments
      • 5
      Trials & tribulations of running a martial arts school
      What are the major problems of running a martial arts school? Does it involve finding students, accidents, training monotony, weekend schedules, non payers, legal issues, etc.?

      Since we have a number of martial arts school instructors and/or owners in this community (such as [171786,Christopher Adamchek] , [174082,Andrea Harkins The Martial Arts Woman]" , [186241,Nathalie] , [181642,Ced] , [175467,Kenneth Winthrop] , [178814,Patrick Lee] and many others), I thought they might share their "trials & tribulations" in order to educate others.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      http://www.blackbeltwiki.com
        • 1
        Nathalie Hello everyone,

        My boyfriend and I operate a kyokushin karate school and I am training 2 teens to become junior black belts and 1 girl who is going for her first dan at the age of 24. This young lady has been avid at our school since 2011. Listening, being present, showing up, training, etc...Now, she trains 5-6 days per week to prep for the big test. I love her determination and she is very sweet.

        The thing is that she is very soft in her movements as in katas, she speaks very low, when she is quizzed, if we can't read lips, we don't get what her answer is and she has never kiai'd in the 5 years that she's been with us. She is very shy and does not socialize with anyone. Not that she has to but there is never a conversation unless someone else engages her, she just picks up her stuff after class and she is gone in a flash.

        I can kind of relate to her because growing up and as a young adult, I was morbidly shy but I made myself get over it and though I get fleeting thoughts of self-doubt sometimes, I don't let those get in my way. I even remember being shy to kiai in class and thinking, after a few years of hearing others just let it all out, that I better get over that one before I get noticed as the one who is scared to kiai so I just do it from the gut, especially since my brown belt level training for my bb test.

        I have explained the meaning of the kiai to the group (oh, and they do it but they hold back so much) (thank you Jesse, btw, for your great articles, I love referring to them) the importance of putting power into their katas plus how important the breathing is as in Sanchin kata . She will nod, agree and just continue to do what she usually does, soft punches and mouth shut, not a sound of breath nor kiai.

        One of my previous instructors who is strict suggested that during the kata part of the test, we should make them all redo the katas over and over until done perfectly (as in our usual way of testing) but make sure all the kiais are heard clearly otherwise this segment won't end.

        My first question is: Is it not a must at this level? and How do I make her feel secure enough to express herself? (believe it or not she has a masters degree in communications).

        Thank you for your attention

        Nathalie
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Ray Late to the party but.....

        I do not own or run my school. Nor do I have a real say in anything.

        I do have the largest class. My own account for gear with kwon u.s.a. I get everyone set up for tournaments open up most days, and sub for some of the other instructors on a regular basis.

        My biggest obstacle is not owning my own gym.
        • 1
        Ced I am confident that between the various opinions you will find what works best for you. Good luck wish you much success.
      • 27 more comments
      • 5
      Have you ever encountered a fake black belt?
      Have you ever encountered a fake black belt? While kids have been known to "exaggerate"... have you encountered any adults who have lied about their martial arts experience?

      I am asking because of a video that is going viral that shows a BJJ instructor going off on a fake black belt - http://www.inquisitr.com/2235940/miami-martial-arts-instructor-ruben-alvarez-outed-fake-black-belt-berates-him-to-wear-white-belt-if-he-wants-to-return/

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      http://www.blackbeltwiki.com
        • 3
        Christopher Adamchek I havent encountered a "fake" black belt
        but i have encountered "black belts" who are definitely not up to par and the result of their school wanting money so they push the student through the ranks to collect promotional fees
        • 2
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Konnichiwa ! This blog has now lost its composure and smells of burn't french fries. Time for a refund and a new batch .
        • 2
        Al W "In Okinawa belt mean no need rope to hold up pants"
      • 220 more comments
      • 5
      Walls can be used as a martial arts weapon
      Many martial art styles and techniques take advantage of the floor as a weapon but a good solid wall can be just as good a friend to the martial artist in self defence and actual combat situations. Most walls are as solid and unforgiving as the floor and can be used to great effect in the martial arts. An opponent/attacker can be pushed with great force (by using a double open palm thrust to the chest, a technique that anyone familiar with sanchin should be already be versed in), you can catch an oncoming punch or strike and then spin to throw your attacker into a wall, also the effect of most high range kicks or punches can be doubled if you can position yourself so that the attackers head or back will connect with the wall on execution. You can practice some of the pushing or throwing techniques with a partner by placing several mats against a wall but I would only recommend using kicks or punches in conjunction with walls as a means of actual self defence.
        • 3
        Superamazingbadgerman Yea, for a complete system, you really do need to understand walls.

        They're a very common surface to have around only a dazed and confused fool wouldn't use, not to mention the fact that if you're in a confined space and someone does something that (hopefully) they'll regret, you're probably gonna get thrown into one (whether anyone intends it to happen or not).

        Obviously, your first resort (or second. or third...) should never be to back into one yourself (unless you'd be completely overwhelmed if you don't), but you need to be able to work with your back to the wall (after having been violently shoved into it by multiple RIPPED attackers) anyway. If a mugger or assassin or extortionist or whoever catches you by surprise (and if they're any good at it, they will), they would (or at least I would) likely slam you against a nearby wall and start threatening you with a knife or a gun or their bare hands or whatever they might have (not that I would do anything like that to you guys). You need answers for that just as effective as your answers for one on one unarmed combat.

        It's also nice to know how to work with one yourself since it's a neutral surface (like the ground) that takes a lot less effort to put someone into. You can more easily submit your attacker to the wall than you can to the ground (though it's less effective and certainly less disorienting), so you should study how you would do that from several positions before you need to do it for real.
        • 3
        Andy [171668,Black Belt Wiki] that is a great point Will, and many self defence principles advocate NOT getting backed up against a wall. Another good one if you ever do find yourself pinned against a wall by an attacker is to slide down the wall to create a little space between yourself and your attacker, bring up your knee, place your foot against your attackers hip and then perform a thrust using the wall for extra leverage.
        • 3
        Andy [172304,Llewena Carrero], some Jujutsu/BJJ techniques can be modified to work vertically but the laws of gravity apply so many cant, it is still a good extra set of skills to add to your overall martial arts catalogue though :)
      • 25 more comments


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